[ISEA2011] Panel: Lind­say D. Grace – Dis­com­fort De­sign: Crit­i­cal Re­flec­tion through Un­com­fort­able Play

Panel Statement

Panel: Playing the non-playful: On the critical potential of play at the overlap of videogames and electronic art

Do we re­veal pre­vi­ously hid­den or ig­nored val­ues by dis­cov­er­ing the un­playable from play­ful ex­pe­ri­ences? Con­sider that un­com­fort­able mo­ment in life when peo­ple dis­cover a play­ful ex­pe­ri­ence ceases to be worth play­ing.  Just as an arm is bro­ken on the play­ground, or a re­la­tion­ship can no longer be mended, there are ex­plicit mo­ments when art trans­gresses some un­fore­seen ter­ri­tory leav­ing us with a fear of its po­ten­tial.  There are games that cross into the taboo and art ges­tures that are too eager in their play­ful­ness. They leave us un­will­ing or even un­able to play and in doing so, offer us an un­fore­seen op­por­tu­nity for crit­i­cal re­flec­tion.  Such work is some­times po­lit­i­cal other times naïve in its pur­suit, un­com­fort­ably stum­bling on that which may have been for­got­ten.

  • Lind­say Grace is a pro­fes­sor, game de­signer, pro­gram­mer, artist and  writer. Lind­say is the Arm­strong Pro­fes­sor of Fine Arts within Miami Uni­ver­sity’s Arm­strong In­sti­tute for In­ter­ac­tive Media Stud­ies and the School of Fine Arts. His re­search areas in­clude game de­sign, hu­man-com­puter in­ter­ac­tion, crit­i­cal game­play, and web de­sign. He also writes about de­sign and ed­u­ca­tion. Lind­say has served in­dus­try as an in­de­pen­dent con­sul­tant, web de­signer, soft­ware de­vel­oper, en­tre­pre­neur, busi­ness an­a­lyst and writer. Lind­say’s cre­ative prac­tice is fo­cused on ?uses of in­ter­ac­tive media to ex­plore cul­tural stan­dards. Ex­tend­ing the foun­da­tions of human com­puter in­ter­ac­tion, play de­sign and de­sign an­thro­pol­ogy, the work ex­plores the ig­nored. This work is com­puter game, ?gallery art, an­i­ma­tion, sculp­ture or some in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary amal­ga­ma­tion. Lind­say’s work pri­mar­ily pur­sues ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ences and ed­i­to­r­ial cri­tique of the so­cial re­la­tion­ship be­tween com­put­ers, hu­mans and each other. Lind­say has taught games, in­ter­ac­tion de­sign, and writ­ing at the col­lege level for more than 7 years. He is an alum­nus the Elec­tronic Vi­su­al­iza­tion Lab at the Uni­ver­sity of Illi­nois and holds two de­grees from North­west­ern Uni­ver­sity. Lind­say’s new media work has been ex­hib­ited in­ter­na­tion­ally in a va­ri­ety of venues.

Full text (PDF) p. 1015-1020